Goodison, Pitterson-Nattie are Insports primary schools ambassadors

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

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Olivia Grange, minister of sport, yesterday announced former national football player Ian “Pepe” Goodison and former National netball player and current coach, Oberon “OB” Pitterson-Nattie as ambassadors for the Insports National Primary football and netball programmes.

Grange made the official announcement at the National Indoor Sport Centre as she spoke at the press launch and official draw for the playoffs in the Insports National Primary School football and netball competitions.

The playoffs start today across the island among the schools in the draw.

“Both 'Pepe' and 'OB', by virtue of the way they have represented Jamaica in their two sports, are eminently qualified for the ambassadorial roles to which we are appointing them,” said the minister.

“They represent two of the best examples we could identify to assist youngsters at the grass roots level. 'Pepe', as we know, is himself a grassroots man and it is also not unfamiliar territory for 'OB'.

“Their role will be to provide insights and knowledge about the game to the youngsters in a manner that will inspire player-participation and a genuine focus to represent the country at the highest levels as they develop.

“In discussion with Insports, they will develop strategies through seminars and workshops that will improve the overall grass roots programme for football and netball here.”

Goodison said he was pleased to know that he was remembered, even as he highlighted that there are other past players around who could help the process.

“These young players need to study the principles as part of player development. We also would like to get five to six players from this competition to improve and go on to represent Jamaica in the near future,” he said.

For Pitterson-Nattie, “It is important to get these primary schools coaches certified, and the hosting of clinics for these young players, even in the summer, as majority of them are always here, as part of their development to become a national player.”

The sport minister said the major purpose of these primary school competitions was to enhance Jamaica's feeder programmes for all levels of football and netball, bringing to the fore the best talent in a competitive environment in line with the Insports mandate of “unearthing talent”.

“There are many Ricardo Fullers and 'Bibi' Gardeners out there. There are many Andre Blakes and Warren Barretts and Pepe Goodisons. And certainly there are many more Romelda Aikens, Simone Forbes, Oberon Pittersons and others. But we must use these youth initiatives to identify them and go on to provide as much assistance as possible for them to turn their potential into the next generation of great Jamaican footballers and netballers.”

This year sees the restart of the competitions, the last one being in 2013, and Grange said that, “we should ensure that they never flounder again, because it is this kind of foundation that will put us in good stead to consistently perform well at the regional and international levels. The seeds are being sown. I am sure the harvest will be rich.”

Meanwhile, today's opening matches in the football competition will see Pembroke Hall Primary from St Andrew taking on Friendship Primary at 10:00 am, and Holy Family Primary from Kingston facing Naggo Head Primary from St Catherine at noon at Boys' Town Football Club, Collie Smith Drive.

Two other games are scheduled for today with Portsmouth Primary going up against August Town Primary from St Andrew at 10:00 am, and McCauley Primary versus Denham Town Primary at Friendship Primary School in Spanish Town at 1:00 pm.

The top four schools in the football and netball competitions will be awarded sporting goods, trophy and medals, with the football champions receiving $150,000 worth of sporting goods, champions trophy and medals; the runners-up $75,000 worth of sporting goods, trophy and medals; third-placed winners $50,000 worth of sporting goods, trophies and medals, and fourth-placed winners $40,000 worth of sporting goods.

The netball champions will receive $100,000 worth of sporting goods, championship trophy and medals; second-placed team $75,000 worth of sporting goods, trophy and medals; third-placed team $50,000 worth of sporting goods, a trophy and medals; and fourth-placed team $40,000 worth of sporting goods.

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